AZ Lawsuit: Maricopa County’s Sharpies Denied Voting Rights

Published On: November 04th, 2020

Voters Seek Right to Cure, Observe Their Ballots Being Counted

(PHOENIX, AZ.) – November 4, 2020: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), on behalf of client Laurie Aguilera and Does I-X, filed a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Recorder and the Board of Supervisors seeking a court order to vindicate their voting rights. The lawsuit asks that all ballots left uncured or denied due to the required use of Sharpies be identified and corrected. The suit also seeks observation rights during the cure process (Aguilera and Does I-X v. Fontes).  

Plaintiff Laurie Aguilera was issued a Sharpie to mark up her ballot on Election Day in Maricopa County, Arizona, despite established state procedures guiding that felt tip writing utensils not be used. Ms. Aguilera became alarmed when she noticed ink bleeding to the other side of her ballot. When instructed to feed her ballot through the counting machine, the ballot failed to be accepted and was eventually cancelled by the attending poll worker. Ms. Aguilera’s request for a replacement ballot was denied.

“These voters were denied the right to vote. Arizona election officials allegedly were part of the problem, and denial of the right to vote should not occur because of failures in the process of casting a ballot,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “We are asking that all ballots that were uncured or denied be identified and allowed to be cured.”

The plaintiffs seek the following from the Superior Court for the State of Arizona, Maricopa County:

–All ballots left uncured or denied due to Defendants’ supplied Sharpies be identified and allowed to be cured.

–The Court permits members of the public who were given felt tip marking devices to be present to observe the handling and adjudication of their ballots.

–A Court finding that Defendants deprived voters of their right to have their votes read and tabulated with perfect accuracy by an automatic system, or, that Defendants acted contrary to Arizona law.

Read the full brief here.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is leading the nation in enforcing election integrity laws and the National Voter Registration Act, having brought cases in North Carolina, Virginia Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Texas, and Maine and filed amicus briefs in litigation across the nation.

The litigation continues in the Superior Court of Arizona – Maricopa County. The case number is CV2020-014083. Counsel for the Public Interest Legal Foundation is Sue Becker. Alexander Kolodin serves as local counsel.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.


Public Interest Legal Foundation